School of Medicine
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Catherine A. Gordon
Postdoctoral Research fellow, Urology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Prostate cancer is a major health problem in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that one out of six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, while one out of thirty-six men will die from it. Since most men will not acquire an aggressive and potentially lethal form of the disease, the challenge is being able to distinguish between aggressive and indolent forms of prostate cancer, and properly treating the aggressive forms.
We have recently identified nucleolar and spindle-associated protein (NUSAP1; encoding NuSAP) as a prognosticator for prostate cancer. We found that NUSAP1 is over-expressed in recurrent prostate cancer tumors, and validated this correlation in independent prostate cancer datasets. Although NuSAP is known to be essential for cell cycle progression, faithfully binding to and stabilizing microtubules during mitosis, little is known about its role in prostate cancer progression. Hence, we are performing an extensive analysis to understand the role of NuSAP in aggressive prostate cancer. In particular, we are investigating the regulation and role of NuSAP in mechanisms of proliferation, invasion, apoptosis, cellular movement, cell cycle progression, metastasis, tumor growth, and responses to chemotherapy. Understanding the role of NuSAP in prostate cancer progression will provide insights into the inner workings of aggressive cancer cells, and may lead to new ways to prognosticate and treat aggressive forms of prostate cancer.